WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump announced this Saturday in a statement the death of Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden and considered one of the current leaders of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group.
Trump said that Hamza bin Laden was “killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region,” but did not specify when the attack occurred.
“The loss of Hamza bin Laden not only deprives al-Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group,” the US president said.
Trump’s announcement came just three days after the 18th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, when Al-Qaeda perpetrated the biggest terrorist attack ever carried out in US territory.
The NBC and CNN television networks, quoting government officials, reported the death of Hamza in late July, but the US presidency did not officially confirm that news.
The US government considered Hamza bin Laden, 30, to be the heir to his father’s organization and believed he had taken on greater responsibilities in recent years.
According to Washington, in fact, Osama bin Laden, who was slain in May 2011, spent years training Hamza to take over the leadership of Al-Qaeda, currently headed by the Egyptian Ayman al Zawahiri.
US authorities reached that conclusion based on a series of letters found where the then-leader of Al-Qaeda was hiding out in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad and was killed in an operation by US Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group Due to the growing importance of Hamza, the US government offered a reward of up to $1 million for any information that could lead to his identification, discovery and capture.
Soon after Washington offered that reward, the Saudi Arabian government revoked Hamza’s Saudi citizenship.
Up to now, the whereabouts of this son of Osama bin Laden has been unknown, though there was speculation about the possibility that he was in Iran with the family of his mother or maybe in some hideout in Afghanistan or Pakistan.